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Hot Rods The Lew Thompson Coupe... Final Assembly

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,551

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    The Lew Thompson Coupe... Final Assembly


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  2. Is the HAMB the same as it was 10 years ago?
    Very few vehicles have endured 83 years without changes.
    Had the car been found in is original form from 1950 without upgrades and in good health, I would say rebuld.
    But, it had become scrap and for now it has been saved from the smelters of China.. Maybe in a few years someone will get the bug to rebuild it back to its Glory Days, for now, lets enjoy that it is still here though slightly altered.
    billylo, Texascash and Rolleiflex like this.
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 569


    It's a cool car and it deserves to be driven, glad you decided to cover it. There will be a lot of good info. and history revealed.
    Texascash likes this.
  4. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,551

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    So, I mentioned some challenges in final assembly...

    The car had never really been in final mock up before it was torn apart for paint and chrome. So, as you might imagine, that big ole chrome firewall has been pretty intimidating. There are no provision for a throttle linkage, a fuel block, or anything else that needs to be mounted.

    The throttle linkage seemed to be the scariest project, so Keith attacked that first. The owner mentioned that he might want to someday run a Scott blower on the car too... so just a hole in the firewall wasn't going to work... It would need a "slot" of sorts and cutting into the chrome firewall would be a real risk. It could chip. It could blue. It could all go to shit.

    So, instead Keith decided to run the linkage off the bell housing - avoiding the process of cutting into the chrome all together.






    This placed the throttle pedal in a pretty comfortable position... But there are other concerns to worry about as well. For instance, the tremec tranny places the shifter pretty far reward which interferes with the big Mercury steering wheel that you will see later. And, of course, this car has a seat out of a P47 aircraft that places the driver's legs fairly high in the cockpit making ingress and regress a challenge.

    This is all going to be a very intricate dance of location.

    Attached Files:

    • 05.jpg
      File size:
      317 KB
    JimmyD3234, Drewfus, billylo and 7 others like this.

  5. what a bitchin coupe!!
    Texascash likes this.
  6. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,112

    from Burton, MI

    That is one tasty lil hot rod Ford!
    Texascash likes this.
  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,104

    Jalopy Joker

    Cool - Thanks for doing the write up. great back history, and future history awaits. anything that is worth doing is going to have unexpected challenges and expense.
    Texascash and hipster like this.
  8. oldcargary
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 210

    from devore, Ca

    Cool to see a car from where I grew up and raced (Kingdon Drag Strip) a little before my time racing there, but these were the guys who paved the way. The guy who owns it can always do what he wants to the car, I'm glad this piece of Valley history isn't still in the junk pile.
    Texascash likes this.
  9. flyn schlosser
    Joined: Oct 13, 2014
    Posts: 250

    flyn schlosser
    from phelan, ca

    Awesome car
    Texascash likes this.
  10. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,535

    J. A. Miller
    from Central NY

    We should be thankful some idiot didn't get it and put a MII front end, 350/350, tweed interior and pastel paint with graphics on it!
  11. Yes!
    Beautiful work Keith
    Texascash likes this.
  12. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,985

    The 39 guy

    A bit of editorial flexibility can be a good thing Ryan...... Thanks for the article and I hope you post up some more details.
    Texascash likes this.
  13. Pinstriper40
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,404


    Very neat car! I like the color a lot!
    Texascash likes this.
  14. Tn. Trash
    Joined: Apr 21, 2015
    Posts: 302

    Tn. Trash

    This should be good, great looking hot rod. A few changes won`t hurt anything. It was a street car before it was a drag car, now it`s going back to the street.
    As far as the tranny and other parts go, how many cars do you see on here with modern parts that are called traditional ?
    Keep the pics coming Ryan.
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  15. Burny
    Joined: Dec 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,600


    Stunning car- looking forward to seeing it at the GNRS... I have no problems with a Tremec, or any of the "upgrades". Had this been a resto destined for a museum and/or to be trailer-ed to shows...maybe I'd have gone a different way. But, if the intent is to drive the car a lot-safely, I say well done, Sir....
    billylo, Texascash and hansboomer like this.
  16. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,040


    I still feel the same as I did with your previous post on it. This car is Bitchin'!

    The changes in my mind aren't that big of deal and I'm a huge stickler for history and authenticity, for the most part the car looks as it did. It's not like it's got pastel graphics and 20" billet wheels or whatever the hell kids are doing these days.

    I can welcome the changes to know that this thing will be driven!
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  17. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    I'm with Rolleiflex.I'm a recovering concours collector and I think if the changes make it more streetable,so be it.Enjoy the ride!
    billylo, Texascash and hansboomer like this.
  18. S.F.
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,894


    I think too much attention has been called to the changes made on this car, it looks amazing, and very era correct. We as HAMB need to focus more on questions like "why does Charles Kirkorian's Emperor have white letter radials?"
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  19. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,663


    I mean, this is The Jalopy Journal… We cover traditional hot rods here almost exclusively, so it would make sense that there would be some controversy over these changes. I get that. Hell, I agree… and most likely would have restored this car in a different manner myself.
    It’s Eric Arnett’s car. And there is some consolation in the fact that the car is being built to be driven. Really driven. And if that happens, some of these changes might actually be worth their cost.
    While the car is gorgeous to look at and extremely photogenic, there isn’t a whole lot of meat here for me to cover – certainly not enough for me to endure the controversy mentioned above, right?
    It really wasn’t until this morning that I decided to cover the car anyway… For one, Keith has been met with some challenges during finally assembly that I think would be interesting to cover. And as for the controversial parts of the car, I’ve decided to lean on you guys for some help. Be easy on me, will ya?

    Boss, I think you answered yer own question. I mean, what's the alternative, not show it at all? Showing a traditionally flavored (one time original) rod does not dilute the stated integrity of the HAMB. We celebrate the survivors here, whatever their fates. As long as they don't wind up crushed for Toyotas, its all good, right?
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  20. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,706


    Thanks for covering this car/build. The moment I saw the color shot, I didn't care if it had any modern, non traditional equipment, it was just plain "Bitchin"! Keep stroking guys.
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  21. HRS
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 361


    Isn't "traditionally styled" HAMB acceptable?
    Great car, with a great history and TRADITION.
    billylo and Texascash like this.
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 569


    I know it will have to change to be a driver, but that thing looks killer without the radiator like on the magazine cover!
    Texascash likes this.
  23. joe.didio
    Joined: Oct 4, 2014
    Posts: 65


    Any car that made it to 1947 and has survived almost intact to the present is worth it's grit. Feature the dang thing, it's way cool.
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  24. SLAMIT
    Joined: Sep 9, 2002
    Posts: 929


    So it's a bitchin car no matter how you slice this thing open. I don't agree with half of the things that go on here yet I love 98% of it all. We and I mean a good portion of us at some point or another talked massive shit about "restorers" and how they are ridiculous and they would freak out if they saw what we did to these perfect old cars. Well full circle I'd say right? The Randy Canorazzi (Spelling?) roadster is one of the coolest Features I have seen here for so many reasons. It in my mind is almost a perfect hotrod and that being said if it were mine I would change a few things even though I know why they were done. The black on the cowl kills me and I get why it's there. I don't like the headlight trim rings painted and I get why they were done that way. Those things in no way make that any less bitchin at all and I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with that. John Mearn's Coupe is another that is such a bitchin car and yet everyone is getting worked up about some modern things on the car. its not what is used in my opinion it is how they are used. Lets sit back and really just enjoy that there are many ways to build a hotrod and we are not building things like billet clad tweed interior monochrome paint hot rods. Those have a place and they are not here and we all get that part..

    You are doing a fine job of steering this ship in a great direction. We have all changed and kind of grown up together now at this point and because of The Jalopy Journal the hot rodding world is a damned better place for it. Don't get caught up in the Elitist bullshit and I think all will be well in the world.

    And I will never get tired of watching Tardel do cool shit with a Harry Potter wand. That's what he uses right?? to make such cool shit.. Cant be fully human.
    Drewfus, RodNoc, billylo and 3 others like this.
  25. Great story and a very nice restoration or should I say do up? Hot rods have always been a work in progress and most of them are never finished. From that perspective it is absolutely ok if the owner made some improvements or corrections and did not step back to old unreliable parts. I am 100% certain that Keith will do a fantastic job to finish this magnificent car period correct.
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  26. or worse yet, opened the rear windows up. that to me is the thing that keeps it "period" because nobody would do that now.
    what color green is it? is it the same as it was in '47?
    anybody else wondering why with all that talent it was never mocked up? hot rodding 101.
    J. A. Miller likes this.
  27. MAD 034
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 775

    MAD 034
    from Washington

    The changes made to drive it make sense. It still has the killer look and the color makes it -- a sweet old coupe for sure.
    billylo and Texascash like this.
  28. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,935

    from DFW USA

    For the life of me I can't figure out why there are whispers about this car having a 5spd or some new suspension parts. Kinda sad that the Hamb has devolved into a bunch of restorers. It's the first R&C cover car, it's survived, it's gonna get shown AND driven, and just look at it - it's absolutely bitchin. I'd be strutting around like a peacock if it were mine. Stop with the apologetics and keep the photos and build progress coming.
  29. ruffie tuffshitski
    Joined: Aug 25, 2011
    Posts: 28

    ruffie tuffshitski

    Ohhh, man- I've worked on a lot of cars that didn't make it to final mockup in bare metal- its a huge job trying to make everything mount and function after paint and chrome, it really limits your options and the quality of the finished car, takes way longer to assemble that way- its a great looking car, much respect to how its turning out!!
    Texascash likes this.
  30. tint1
    Joined: Jun 11, 2009
    Posts: 13


    I can not wait for Lew to see the car at Gnrs for the first time
    billylo and Texascash like this.

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